A pani puri is a delicious, street-food snack which is a hollow crispy round shell which is half filled with chickpeas or sprouts and with a tangy, minty and slightly sweet liquid is poured in and then popped straight into the mouth. It then bursts into a firework of flavours and textures. You can vary the filling as much as you like. While we traditionally use boiled potatoes and chickpeas, here I have used an avocado “salsa” for a creamy but crunchy twist on the traditional, and for the non-vegetarian one I have added salmon roe and a touch of sour cream for added luxury. They are super easy to make and really delicious.
- 20 pani puri (see Note)
- 50 g jar salmon roe (optional)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) sour cream (optional)
- 1 ripe avocado, finely chopped
- 1 small tomato, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- ½ small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp lime juice
- zest of ½ lime
- small handful chopped coriander
- salt, to taste
Spiced tamarind and mint water
- 1 tbsp pani puri masala powder (store bought)
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) store-bought tamarind sauce, or home-made date and tamarind chutney (see Note )
- 8 mint leaves, finely shredded
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the spiced tamarind and mint water, pour 250 ml (1 cup) water into a small jug and stir in the pani puri powder, tamarind chutney and mint. Adjust to taste, adding more tamarind chutney for sweet sourness or powder for spiciness.
To make the filling, gently combine all the ingredients together and adjust the seasoning to taste.
Just before serving, using your finger, crack a hole into the thinner convex surface of the pani puri (one side will always be thinner and look more delicate). Spoon in one heaped teaspoon of the filling and top with a little sour cream and salmon roe if using, then place on a serving platter.
To serve, place the jug of spiced tamarind water next to your puris, then pour in about 2 teaspoons into the opening of each pani puri. Place the whole lot in your mouth (it will leak everywhere otherwise!).
• Made from a wheat based dough, pani puri are readily available from Indian food stores. If you buy a whole kit, follow the instructions on the packet to make the liquid. I buy the individual elements and this recipe is based on that.
• For this recipe, I used Maggi tamarind sauce. All sauces will differ in taste, so add half and taste before adding the rest.